More water leaks are frustrating residents in Fredonia, but a recent, fast-flowing leak on Chestnut Street is expected to be resolved today.
Department of Public Works Supervisor Jack Boland told the OBSERVER he noticed the leak last week, but had problems contacting the property owner.
He said when the property owner learned of the problem on Monday, he was "more than cooperative" and has contacted a plumber.
OBSERVER?Photo by Matt Panebianco
A water leak in a resident’s yard on Chestnut Street is expected to be repaired today, according to officials from the village of Fredonia.
Property owners are responsible for water lines connected to their houses, typically up to the road or other municipality easements.
Water utility line leaks on homeowner's properties are covered by some, but not all, home owner's insurance policies.
Legally, a water-issuing authority, in this case the village, must take legal steps before turning off water to the residence.
Village Mayor Stephen Keefe said, "There is a legal framework. We have to give 30 days notice to the homeowner. ... The problem is that if it is on someone's personal property, it's their duty to fix it. ... We can't just turn the water off without going through a process. ... It becomes a heath department issue."
Keefe said the water is not being metered through the resident's water system. "Unfortunately, we're losing water, so it's not a good situation, but if people fix (water leaks) as quickly as possible, we're in better shape" than if legal action must be taken, since a voluntary repair may be taken care of more quickly than through the lengthy process of taking legal steps.
Boland concurred, and said if the homeowner had not been cooperative, it would take another 10 days to initiate further steps. Boland also said the water problem looks worse than it is because the water pools in a low spot. "Instead of the water staying on one side of the street, it moves about three quarters of the way to the receiver, and goes in low across the road, so everyone ends up driving in it," he explained.
Keefe said he hopes the leak is fixed as quickly as the homeowner anticipates, particularly if temperatures drop. "Not only are we losing manufactured water," he said, "but we also have an additional concern with another hazard if the water freezes."
Several other water leaks which were the responsibility of the homeowner occurred recently, according to Keefe. "We had one in the village on Liberty Street not long ago, and another one in the town on Route 83 a while back," which Keefe said were each resolved quickly by the home owners.
Boland said a water main leak also occurred Tuesday on Elm Street, where leaks have occurred in the past. "It's an old system," Boland explained. "The oldest water line in the village is from about 1890."
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